San Antonio SUV Rollover Lawyers
Representing Victims Caused by Tire Defects, Tire Blowouts and SUV Rollovers
Many people buy sports utility vehicles (SUVs) because the vehicles make them feel safer. They want to protect themselves and their families in a large, heavy vehicle that rides higher than most other vehicles on the road. SUVs are often advertised as family cars. However, the reality is that SUVs are risky vehicles. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), SUVs are four times more likely to roll over in an accident than a regular car. While rollovers represent only about 3 percent of all crashes in the United States, they represent almost 33 percent of highway deaths. Even after the publicity of the Ford Explorer lawsuits, the problem is getting worse not better. SUV rollover fatalities increased 6.8 percent to 2,639 in 2003, while rollover deaths declined for passenger cars and pickup trucks.
The Felix Gonzalez Law Firm represents both victims and family members of SUV rollovers in Texas throughout and the United States. The Felix Gonzalez Law Firm have successfully represented plaintiffs (the injured parties) in SUV rollovers involving the Ford Bronco II, Ford Explorer, Ford Expedition, Mitsubishi Montero, Honda Passport / Isuzu Rodeo, Chevy Blazer, Chevy Suburban and Chevy Tahoe. The firm is currently accepting cases involving these vehicles as well as Isuzu Troopers and other types of SUVs. As a class, all SUV vehicles are prone to rollover accidents.
What causes SUV rollovers?
Rollovers are usually induced by emergency avoidance maneuvers instituted by the driver in response to an unexpected but foreseeable event. For instance a driver’s attempt to avoid an object or person in the roadway or a driver’s reaction to another vehicle’s erratic movement will often put into the play the forces which result in a rollover. A rollover may also be the result of the sudden failure of a tire. The forces exerted on the vehicle by the tire tread coming off cause the vehicle to veer unexpectedly requiring driver inputs to avoid entering another lane or going off the shoulder. The combination of these forces with an inherently unstable vehicle is a recipe for disaster.
The causes of SUV rollovers have been well understood by engineers for many years. SUVs and some pickups are more likely to rollover following a tire failure, collision or during an emergency avoidance maneuver than a car because SUVs have a higher center of gravity. The very thing that makes SUV drivers feel safe–riding higher from the ground than passengers cars—is the reason SUVs are more likely to rollover.
Auto makers often hide behind the fact that there are no federal safety requirements with respect to rollover resistance. The truth is auto manufacturers have spent millions of dollars lobbying Congress to prevent the enactment of any standards with respect to rollover resistance. Even more shocking is the failure of the auto manufacturers to follow their own internal guidelines and standards with respect to handling and stability. Every automobile manufacturer in the world admits that its internal design goals call for “passenger cars” to slide out rather than rollover when subjected to emergency avoidance maneuvers. When confronted with the inconsistency between those design goals and the tendency of SUVs to rollover however, the manufactures universally respond that an SUV is not a “passenger car”. They take this position despite the fact that they spend millions of dollars advertising their SUV as a family vehicle.
In addition to disregarding their own internal design goals, few if any manufacturers actually road test their SUVs under emergency avoidance situations prior to placing them in the public market. After rolling several Explorer prototypes in its development stage, Ford Management issued an order prohibiting actual on-road limits testing due to the hazard the Explorer posed to its drivers. Ford instead relied on unverified computer simulations to sign off on the safety of its SUVs. These vehicles were then sold to the unsuspecting public as safe family vehicles. Another manufacturers on road testing consist of nothing more than an informal test drive around the company parking lot by a couple of their engineers.
Engineers and safety experts have long agreed that the best way for manufacturers to make SUVs less likely to roll over is to lower the center of gravity and widen the wheel track. This was the recommendation of automotive experts during the lawsuits generated by the victims of Ford Explorer rollovers. While Ford discounted these recommendations during the trials, many of the recommendations were incorporated in the redesign of the 2002 Ford Explorer. However, the Explorer as well as all other SUVs still have a high center of gravity and are prone to rollover accidents.
Call San Antonio SUV Rollover Attorneys at the Felix Gonzalez Law Firm
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a SUV, van, or light truck rollover, you should contact the Felix Gonzalez Law Firm as soon as possible. The Felix Gonzalez Law Firm will immediately begin to work on your behalf, securing evidence such as the vehicle as well as the tire in a tire failure case. We will do accident investigation and reconstruction as quickly as possible while the evidence and witnesses are still available. You should never talk to an insurance company representative or adjuster or manufacturer’s representative without speaking to us first.
SUV rollover cases are highly technical cases, which require an experienced and knowledgeable SUV rollover attorney. Felix Gonzalez has a detailed understanding of the forces at work in a rollover event, and the relationship between a vehicle’s track width, center of gravity, and its tendency to rollover. If your attorney doesn’t understand these technical concepts, he won’t be able to prove your case. Get in touch the best roll over attorney in San Antonio. Contact Felix Gonzalez today.